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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Sperry Rail Service ???

Date: 07/24/08 12:21
Sperry Rail Service ???
Author: conraildanpswr

I was interested in working for them. Has anyone ever been employed by them and could tell me what it is like. i hear you spend a lot of time from home. i also hear you start out at $10/hour. how much does the pay increase over time? How much overtime do you make a week? what are your duties? Who drives the machine that resembles a locomotive that inspects the track, is it a railroad engineer from the railroad you are riding on or a sperry employee? When you have to go to a new job site, do you have to drive there or do you fly ? i guess they must pay per diem for living out of town, how much is this?

Date: 07/24/08 15:35
Re: Sperry Rail Service ???
Author: AdamPhillips

Date: 07/24/08 18:17
Re: Sperry Rail Service ???
Author: Cameraman

Have a good friend that did this for a while. He got fed up and left. He then went to work for NS and is a today conductor working the freight pool. Most folks think working any RR's freight pool is a bad job and he likes it better than working for Sperry. It that tells you anything.

Biggest problem, as he related the job, was inspecting all day and having to drive the truck (not as many rail cars anymore) at night and be ready to inspect some new place the next day. Months in motels, etc.

Hope that helps. If you get serious, real serious, as in interviews I will get more info for you.

Date: 07/24/08 19:21
Re: Sperry Rail Service ???
Author: mgwsy1978

While workin on Sperry I took many pics and you can go here to view them all.


I would say that if you want a Railroad career find a job for a shortline or Class 1. I went from sperry to a Railamerica Short Line and on average make $60K a year as an Engineer.

Date: 07/24/08 19:40
Re: Sperry Rail Service ???
Author: tq-07fan

I worked for Sperry from Jul 1995 to Mar 1998. All I worked on were the big cars. Some of the railroads in the US only worked us eight hours or less per day. I got to work up in Canada on CP Rail, BC Rail and Southern Railway of BC. In Canada 16 hour days Monday through Friday with up to 12 on Saturday was not uncommon. A lot of it like, gwsy1978 said (on Western Board), depends on what car and what railroad and territory you are on. Expect to do some heavy to real heavy lifting, sometimes in excess 100 lbs. Expect to get dirty. Also expect to see a lot of great scenery and a lot of places people never get to see. If you like to travel Sperry can be fun. Some crews don't get along, other crews become a secondary family. The hi-rail truck would be different but keep in mind that if you are on the big cars you are with the people you work with almost 24 hrs a day.

I did get to talk to a Sperry crew last month. A lot has changed. The new hires are getting sent home every couple months if they want and get a lot more vacation time. Back in 1997 I spent from April to December up in Canada and only got home for my best friend's funeral (not a happy trip, by any means) and went to my grandma's house on the bus during Civic Holiday weekend in August. The year before when I was in the US I got home several weekends while testing on Conrail. I left Sperry mainly because of issues with the Supervisor in Canada at the time.

Sperry does not count toward Railroad Retirement but you can always use Sperry as a reference if you pursue a different railroad career. Oddly enough, like gwsy1978, I left Sperry for a Railtex, then RailAmerica Railroad. But I guess seeing all those cities by transit bus while on Sperry helped me get the job I was born to do which is now driving a transit bus. There are a few drivers who make 70k but I like to live away from the bus sometimes. I almost forgot, I did save a ton of money because I paid my mom and dad to store my stuff. Being out on the road meant no rent or utilities, or even a car payment. So you can save up if conditions are right.

Good Luck

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